Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thank you Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams has a quarterly magazine called STIR, which I adore. It had lots of fancy ideas, practical advice and helps keep my brain updated on color terms and stuff. (yes, stuff is a technical term, duh!)

Today I received my virtual STIR magazine and one of the headlines caught my eye, "The pros and cons of online design". If you read my previous post about my frustration with online designers (who aren't designers by trade) you'll understand why I appreciated this article.

It says that while a few years ago, interior designers were really only thought of for wealthy households (picture Architectural Digest homes...), online designers have made it accessible to the everyday consumer (picture real people that you know).

Here, read the article and then come back and read the rest of this post...go on. I'll wait.

Ok, you read it? Good. Lets move on.

I love the idea of making design available to everyone. The internet has allowed us the privilege to interact with all kids of people- who otherwise would never know of us. However, there is a thing called intellectual copyright.

This means that if I put together a design for a client I "own" that design. I have created that design specifically for that client. When a client signs their contract, they are legally saying, "I'll work with you, and only you for the needs of my space". Awesome.

However, with online designing, I have a hard time understanding a few things:
- how does the designer get compensated? (just by the ads they sell on their site?)
- if I'm working with a client from my office in Ohio, and they are in New Mexico, how will I ever know what the space feels like
- if I post my ideas say, on this blog, for their house, you can almost guarantee that someone else will take some pieces of that design and use it for themselves...(refer back to intellectual copyright link)

Don't get me wrong, the internet helps me daily with my clients. If I'm just starting out with a client, I'll email them several different styles of, rugs lets say. They can easily tell me they prefer one over the other...and now I have a better idea of what to look for in person. This becomes a serious time-saving technique.

Same goes with accessories; but I use the internet as an AID in my design. Not as the primary means of communication.

Its like the difference between receiving an email from a person verses a hand written note. The note is more personal, more human. Same for having a real person in your home; rather than a computer screen...